Course Descriptions

Spring 2016 Class Descriptions

Tax I (Dennis Lilly, Miranda Perry Fleischer)

3-4 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Taxation (LLMC)

Tax I provides students with an understanding of the basic principles of federal income tax, including gross income, deductions, tax accounting, capital transactions, and income shifting. Required for upper-class students.

Tax Litigation (Richard Carpenter)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Taxation (MSLS)

This course provides a comprehensive review of prelitigation IRS administrative procedures, practical analysis in the selection of a choice of forum to litigate a federal tax dispute, pre-trial practice and case analysis, trial techniques and strategies when litigating a federal tax dispute before the U.S. Tax Court, and a review of refund litigation. 

Tax Planning Lab (Victor Fleischer)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD), Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), Taxation (MSLS)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I, Corporate Tax

The course will be held on five Saturdays during the spring semester. Students will work in teams on simulated tax planning exercises with lawyers from Sempra Energy & KPMG. Exercises will include planning, counseling, and negotiating on matters related to mergers & acquisitions, corporate tax, international tax, and financial statement impact. Federal Income Tax and Corporate Tax are required pre-requisites. The course is open to both JD and LLM students. Grades will be assessed based on group projects, written work, and participation.

Tax Policy (Victor Fleischer)

2 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC)
Prerequisite(s): Tax I

This course will offer an introduction to the principal policy considerations raised when creating a tax system. Topics will include the merits of different tax systems (such as income and consumption taxes), questions of tax administration and legal complexity, the efficiency implications of taxation, and distributional implications. It will consider how well current legislation addresses these various issues and consider whether there are ways that they might be better addressed. The class will be conducted as a seminar and will likely include guest experts who will join us in discussions of particular topics. Tax I is a prerequisite for this course; other tax courses, especially Corporate Tax, would be useful, but are not required. This courses fullfills the written work requirement. 

Taxation of Intellectual Property (John I. Forry)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Taxation (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)

Intellectual Property development and exploitation are very significant for many businesses. This requires attention to IP legal protection and dispute resolution, but also to IP taxation in both the US and abroad. This course addresses key tax challenges and opportunities – in both the US and selected other countries – affecting IP development and exploitation. The course first focuses on basic tax rules such as treatment of income and expenses as ordinary or capital, source of income, timing of income recognition, and the effects of tax treaties on taxation of cross-border IP transactions. The course then applies such rules to selected business arrangements involving IP such as sales, licenses and cost sharing arrangements, financing techniques such as securitization, and business combinations such as mergers and joint ventures. The aim is to impart solutions for developing and exploiting IP in light of US and other tax rules. At the beginning of the course, students are assigned to teams. Each team is provided with a brief case study proposing one or more of the IP business arrangements covered in the course. In the final sessions of the course, each team makes a presentation and provides a paper covering key tax challenges and opportunities presented by its case study. One or more previous courses in taxation and/or intellectual property law are recommended but not required.

Taxes & Business Strategy (Howard Abrams)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Business and Corporate Law (MSLS), LLM in Taxation (LLMT), Taxation (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Business and Corporate Law (JD), Taxation (MSLS)

The course is based on the textbook “Taxes and Business Strategy: A Planning Approach” (5th ed. 2015), by Myron S. Scholes, Mark A. Wolfson, Merle Erickson, Michelle Hanlon & Terry Shevlin. There are no prerequisites and students who have taken one or more tax classes can also take this class. The course provides a very high-level introduction to the basic rules of federal income taxation such as the computation of taxable income, the difference between capital gain and ordinary income, non-recognition provisions, and the basic forms of entity taxation. Most of the course is based around problems the students are required to solve using time-value of money computations, asking the students to determine, for example, what form of deferred compensation is most appropriate given specific individual and corporate tax rates along with a particular investment horizon. Students also compute the tax benefit of such techniques as rolling a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA and making a 338(h) (10) election as part of a corporate acquisition. This course is very different from other tax courses because it does not focus of the details of the Internal Revenue Code but rather seeks to develop the analytical skills students need to provide correct and detailed answers to specific business questions when the answers are affected by tax considerations. Each student will make heavy use of a financial calculator or a spreadsheet to do the homework although the examination will not require the students to do any calculations.
Grades based on the final exam.

Tech Entrepreneur Law Clinic (Ted Sichelman)

3 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Business and Corporate Law (LLMC), LLM in Business and Corporate Law (LLMB), Intellectual Property (JD), Business and Corporate Law (JD)

This course places students at local law firms to provide legal assistance to local technology startups in the areas of intellectual property prosecution and licensing, corporate formation and transactions, contracts, employment, and related areas. Students will be supervised by attorneys at local law firms as well as the professor. The course will begin with 2-3 weeks of class sessions covering the core types of transactions encountered in technology startups. There are no scheduled classes during the remainder of the semester; instead, students will work with the companies and supervising lawyers each week, and meet one-on-one with the professor on a regular basis. An application process will be used to select students for the course.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the Business & Corporate Law Concentration and Intellectual Property Concentration web pages for more information. Email to see if your work qualifies.
Additional Information:Business & Corporate Law Concentration, Intellectual Property Concentration

Trademarks Seminar (Paul Horton)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law (MSLS), Intellectual Property Law (LLMG), Intellectual Property (LLMC), Intellectual Property (JD)

Trademarks Seminar will feature three main components: (1) a survey of the main professional, philosophical, historical, constitutional, common law, and domestic and international statutory frameworks that relate to mark assertion, registration, rights, and infringement; (2) a seminar-like classroom format (to the fullest extent its student participants support); and (3) an evaluation format based on three short projects that are spread through the course. Students searching for a course with a final exam should look elsewhere.

Trial Advocacy (Linda L. Lane)

3 credit(s), H/P/L/F Graded
Requirement(s): Skills
Concentration(s): Criminal Law (LLMG), Criminal Law (LLMC), Criminal Litigation (JD), Civil Litigation (JD)

This is an upper class course focused on the skills of case analysis and oral presentation of those cases to judges and juries on civil or criminal trials. The course also includes developing skills used in the discovery phase of civil cases, especially depositions. The course is specifically designed to expand the skills introduced to the student in Legal Research & Writing. The course methodology combines lectures, demonstrations and individual student performances in small groups with extensive critique and feedback by small group instructors who are experienced practitioners. The course culminates in a mock trial. The course is graded on a 4-tier Pass/Fail basis. 

Note: Students may only elect this course or Practicum--Civil to count toward the Civil Litigation Concentration (JD).
Additional Information:Civil Litigation Concentration

Trusts & Estates (Adam Hirsch)

3 credit(s), Standard Letter Graded

This survey course provides an introduction to non-tax aspects of estate planning and the law of gratuitous transfers, including inter vivos gifts, intestate succession, wills, will substitutes, trusts, fiduciary administration, and future interests.

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